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Petrobras Approves Changes in Contract Rules for Pre-salt Exploration

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The Board of Directors of Petrobras approved the signing of the Addendum to the Onerous Assignment Agreement defined by the National Energy Policy Council on April 9. The state-owned company released the ruling on Tuesday (21).

Signed by Petrobras and the Federal Government in 2010, the onerous assignment agreement guarantees the company to explore 5 billion barrels of oil in pre-salt areas for 40 years. In exchange, the company anticipated the payment of R $74.8 billion to the government, which took into account the value of oil at the time.

The devaluation of the price of a barrel of oil in the international market caused Petrobras to request an adjustment in the contract. The state and the Union have been negotiating an additive since 2013.

On April 9 of this year, the National Council of Energy Policy defined that Petrobras will receive a bonus of US $9.058 billion for the additive.

The agreement approved by the Petrobras Board of Directors also foresees the redistribution of the volumes between the blocksmaintaining the total contracted of 5 billion barrels of oil and gas equivalent; the adoption of a clause for conflict resolution; and revision of local content requirements for the same percentages of the 6th round of exploratory blocks under the production sharing the regime.

The amount that will be paid by the Union to the state will be collected in the auction of a surplus of the onerous assignment, scheduled for October 28. Auction signing bonus will be R $106.561 billion, and R $33 billion will be transferred to Petrobras.

The AtapuBuziosItapu and Sepia areas will be auctioned in the Santos Basin. At the time, the CNPE also defined that the winner should pay Petrobras compensation for the investments made in the area and, as a counterpart, will acquire part of the assets and production. Estimates point to the possibility of a surplus of 6 billion to 10 billion barrels of oil.